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Christmas Sales Casualties

Article: Big names that got lost in the Xmas rush

So many big games, not enough money to buy them. Story of your life. Not ours, we get promos. But we're not total bastards and are here to help you pick out some gems that were failed by their marketing budgets.

Many have felt the pinch and there have been some painful decisions made (Woolies going under is just the tip of the iceberg). But some of 2008's most hyped titles have failed to capture the contents of your wallets.

The release schedule's been massively competitive though, with titles such as Gears of War 2, Fable II and Fallout 3 storming the UK software chart alongside annual FIFA and PES releases. Oh and then there was Call of Duty: World at War.

From new IPs like Mirror's Edge, LittleBigPlanet and Wii Music to established franchises like Banjo-Kazooie, MotorStorm and Resistance, the charts look like you played it safe this year.

Without further ado, here are the games that have, so far at least, failed to live up to sales expectations, and which we think should have performed a lot, lot better.

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Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts
Rare's latest offering hasn't quite received the stellar reviews we thought it might, but we still think it's nearly the nuts. However, the game's failed to make the top 40 in the UK chart during the three weeks since its release. More humiliatingly, it was only No15 on the Xbox 360 chart in its first week and is now down at No17. We hate to say it, but was Peter Moore right in stating that new consumers don't care for Rare and that the dev's skillsets are "not applicable in today's market"?

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BioShock PS3
Having topped the chart for a couple of weeks last August to become the then second fastest selling Xbox 360 title ever, 2K's epic finally made it to PS3 this October, but it didn't pack the same wrench-style wallop sales-wise, only making a re-entry at No.14, behind the likes of Carnival: Funfair Games, Mario & Sonic at the Olympics and Family Trainer. It's still hovering in the top 30 of the PS3 chart, perhaps aided by the recent release of the PS3 exclusive Challenge Rooms, but a game of such quality deserves to be played by as wide an audience as possible.

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Left 4 Dead
Mixing some of the best elements from Team-Fortress 2, Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike, Valve's created an almost endlessly replayable game in which no two run-throughs are the same. But while Left 4 Dead may be threatening to dethrone Mario Kart in our lunchtime gaming sessions, it only debuted at No15 in the chart as CoD: World at War, football games and evergreen Nintendo titles continued to hog the top ten. Even worse, the PC and 360 zombie shooter fell to No34 in its second week on the chart. Is everyone buying it on Steam? We hope it's getting the sales cash it deserves.

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Lips
Microsoft might be selling shedloads of 360s in Europe, but its plan to ape the success of Sony's 15 million unit selling SingStar franchise has got off to a flat start. Part of the company's drive to attract the expanded audience, its copycat karaoke title Lips missed the chart top 40 completely in its debut week and only made No19 in the Xbox 360 chart. We thought it was an impressively engineered, visually pleasing party experience (with much cooler mics than SingStar), and its since risen to No11 on the 360 chart, but it's fair to say that Lips has yet to hit the high notes.

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